Thursday, May 1, 2008

We're Going To See The Beatles!

The Forgotten Hits Interview with Garry Berman
(regarding his new book "We're Going To See The Beatles!")

A few weeks ago we mentioned a brand new BEATLES book that's out on the market called WE'RE GOING TO SEE THE BEATLES! It's described as "An Oral History Of Beatlemania As Told By The Fans Who Were There" ... and it makes for a VERY interesting, first-hand account by 40-plus "First Generation" BEATLES fans who were THERE back in late 1963 / early 1964 (and beyond) when BEATLEMANIA took America by storm. Author GARRY BERMAN has collected all of these first-hand memories and remembrances and put them all together in his new book. For the most part, he keeps his own memories and opinions to himself, preferring instead to let the fans who were THERE at the time, caught up in the moment and experiencing the "MANIA" first hand, tell the story. (BERMAN moves things along by taking on almost a "narrator's" role, introducing each phase of THE BEATLES' well-documented career, with more of a "Tour Guide" approach. He ties each chapter around comments from the fans who were truly living in the moment of BEATLEMANIA.) It's a FASCINATING look into what life was like back then, discovering the phenomena that NOBODY could have EVER foreseen would last (and continue to flourish) for SO many generations to come.

Today he joins us here in FORGOTTEN HITS to share some of his OWN experiences ... not only with what it was like putting together this "must have" book and hearing all of these fascinating recollections but also reflecting back on what THE BEATLES have meant to each and every one of us. (As is SO often my way, in addition to conducting the interview, I'll be sharing some of MY BEATLES Memories along the way, too!!!) We hope you enjoy our FORGOTTEN HITS / GARRY BERMAN Interview.
FORGOTTEN HITS: Hi Garry!!! First off, I want to say that I REALLY enjoyed your book. It was interesting to hear some of these "First Hand" accounts of what it was like to experience the earliest days of BEATLEMANIA as it first hit our shores in early 1964.

KENT KOTAL: Although I was only ten years old at the time, I remember VIVIDLY seeing THE BEATLES perform on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW that fateful night back in February of '64 and seeing the impact it had on the girls in my third grade class the very next day!!! In fact, back then ... when barber shops were still open on Mondays ... my Dad took us three boys for haircuts the following day and the joking banter that afternoon was all about whether or not to give us kids "BEATLE Haircuts" or not!!! So obviously, their appearance had an IMMEDIATE effect on people of ALL ages. Youngsters on the list need to keep in mind that back in February of 1964, we only had THREE television channels ... and back then the ENTIRE family watched programs like THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW together on a Sunday Night because that's just what we did!!!

FH: Early on you acknowledge the fact that you were not an IMMEDIATE "First Generation" BEATLES fan when America first became aware of THE FAB FOUR in early 1964. (Having been born in 1961, that's COMPLETELY understandable ... and even the most RAMPANT BEATLE Fans on our list will forgive you coming around to appreciate The Music of THE BEATLES a little later in life!!! lol) What are some of your earliest recollections of THE BEATLES? Did you have older brothers or sisters who were playing this music around the house or did you pretty much come to discover it on your own?
GARRY BERMAN: My earliest recollections of the Beatles, as I mentioned in my introduction to the book, is dancing as a toddler to their songs playing on a portable record player in my family's basement. I have older brothers who got caught up, to varying degrees, in Beatlemania, so Beatles music was in my life from my earliest memory. A few years later, I remember listening to 8-track tapes of "Magical Mystery Tour" and "Let It Be" in my father's car (that was back when 8-tracks were considered a remarkable innovation!). So, my love of the Beatles has been constant and growing from my childhood onward.

FH: You mention in the book a particular turning point in your life that piqued your interest in reading and hearing more about what it was like to experience early BEATLEMANIA. Can you cover that again for some of our readers who may not have seen your book yet?
GB: Back in the late '80s or early 90s, my parents returned from an antique-hunting trip in New York State with a gift or two for me. One was a scrapbook which was lovingly assembled by a teenage girl in Massachusetts during the height of the Beatlemania years. She didn't miss much -- she carefully glued every newspaper and magazine article and photo of the Beatles she could find onto the black construction paper pages. I could tell how the Beatles had totally taken over her life! I'm very happy to have that scrapbook now. It's a tangible, personal example of how the Beatles affected teenagers during that time.

FH: Is this a book that's been in the works for quite some time ... and by "in the works", I mean even in the back of your mind? Obviously, this must have taken a fair amount of time to collect all of these first-hand memories!
GB: I had the idea to do this book several years ago, but my agent at the time wasn't terribly interested. So, without his support, I had to pretty much put it on the back burner. We eventually parted company. When I later decided to contribute an article to "Beatlefan" magazine commemorating the 40th anniversary of the first Shea Stadium concert, I printed up a flier and distributed it at the Beatlefest that year, hoping to find anyone who had attended the concert. A friend of JoAnne McCormack's saw it and told her about it (JoAnne lives in Florida), and JoAnne sent me an e-mail enthusiastically offering her recollections. I then found Debbie Levitt, who was also at the concert, and who, during our conversation, triggered my dormant idea of expanding the article into a real book.

FH: When all was said and done, you were able to round up an INCREDIBLE list of contributors for this tome. In all, 40-some first generation fans came on board to share their memories of the mania. How did you first go about rounding up this group of first-handers?
GB: I found the contributors to the book using a variety of means. I began on the Internet (of course), finding message boards and web sites dedicated to the Beatles on which people offered their own memories. I still had to track down each person who interested me, so I could talk to them directly. It took a bit of detective work, and I ran into a few dead-ends along the way. And, dealing with so many female names, I knew that in most cases they would be using their married names now. I also went to libraries to look through microfilm from '64-'66 of newspapers in cities that had hosted Beatles concerts. To my amazement, I discovered that it was commonplace at that time for newspapers to actually print the full names and street addresses (or at least hometowns) of the fans interviewed for the articles! So it was back to the on-line White Pages to see if anyone with the same family name was still living at the address given in the articles over 40 years ago. In many instances, they were! I would then send a letter, and perhaps a copy of the original article, asking if the family member in question could contact me for a phone interview. The scrapbook I mentioned came in handy that way, too. I found some of the contributors, such as Janet Lessard and Kathy Albinder, via articles pasted onto those pages. I'll never forget the amazing feeling of sitting at my computer, looking down at the yellowing articles in the scrapbook on my lap, and then looking up at White Pages site on the computer screen to see the same family name listed at the same address. It was like experiencing two time dimensions sharing the same cosmic space at the same time!

FH: Virtually ALL of these people were fortunate enough to see THE BEATLES perform at any number of the stops on their U.S. tours ... you were even able to find JO ANN McCORMACK, whose face was prominently displayed as one of the screaming fans at their first SHEA STADIUM Concert. (Preserved for ALL posterity in the posters and concert film!!!) SHAUN WEISS started out as a BEATLES fan and then got to meet and work with THE FAB FOUR for APPLE RECORDS ... as you point out, he may be the ONLY living person who attended not only their first live appearance on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW but also their infamous, impromptu rooftop concert filmed for the movie LET IT BE. LINDA BINNS LILES who is seen on the DVD of THE BEATLES FIRST VISIT TO AMERICA sitting with and talking to RINGO STARR on the train. How on earth did you track down all these people?
GB: Well, as I mentioned, I found a good number of these through Beatles Message Boards and old newspaper articles. After that it became Beatles Networking ... once I met a few of these people, some of them were able to put me in contact with other fans they had met over the years who had also shared in the first-hand experience of Beatlemania. It's probably a tad more accurate to say that only about a half-dozen or so of the 40+ contributors already knew each other before speaking with me; some of their friendships go back to childhood, others became friends later in their lives. By the way, it was only a happy coincidence that JoAnne mentioned her appearance in the official Shea concert film. It was a real hoot seeing her screaming like crazy in several shots throughout the film.

FH: I was surprised to hear that a couple of people on The FORGOTTEN HITS List were interviewed for your book. (The list has grown to the point now where I honestly don't know who is and isn't on it anymore!!! lol) Over what period of time did you collect these reminisces ... was most of this done via email or phone conversations or live, in-person interviews? You clearly rekindled some of the HAPPIEST days of these people's lives by giving them the chance to tell the story of seeing THE BEATLES one more time!
GB: Out of the 42 contributors to the book, 2 sent me their contributions via e-mail, but I interviewed all of the others by phone and transcribed our conversations word-for-word, then carefully arranged all of their comments and stories chronologically, so they are basically telling the history of Beatlemania straight through. I'm pleased that many pages flow as if they were all in the same room at the same time, taking turns to speak about the subject at hand. But I only interviewed one at a time -- although some of the contributors do know each other. Barbara Allen was the first contributor whom I met in person, since we live within driving distance of each other. But for this most recent Beatlefest in New Jersey, Fest producer Mark Lapidos, my agent, and I arranged to invite several of the book contributors to take part in panel discussions throughout the weekend, so fans could hear them relate their stories in person (JoAnne McCormack, Shaun Weiss, and Linda Binns Liles were among those who took part). They all got along great, posed for pictures together, exchanged numbers & addresses, etc. I'm probably most proud of having found Linda Binns Liles, the "girl on the train" as I sometimes refer to her. The Maysles Brothers documentary of the Beatles' first visit to the U.S. has often been shown at Beatlefest (I have to call it Beatlefest, out of habit, and also because it's so much easier to type than "The Fest For Beatles Fans").

FH: WE still call if BEATLEFEST, too ... that's what it was known as for SO many years when we faithfully attended every Chicagoland appearance. Honestly, I don't know WHY he changed it!!!
GB: Many times I'd hear people in the audience watching the footage of Linda meeting and talking with each Beatle on the train from New York to D.C., and saying, "that girl was so lucky! I wonder whatever happened to her!" I often wondered that myself. Well, out of another combination of luck and detective work, I was delighted to finally find Linda. To my surprise, she said she hasn't been asked about her experience as much as I would have guessed, so she was happy to give me such a detailed account. I found Shaun Weiss on an on-line message board, and knew that I HAD to talk with him, considering his history. His father, Nat Weiss, was Brian Epstein's business associate and attorney for the Beatles' American interests.

FH: Thanks to your book, we hear from girls who stampeded the airport, snuck into the hotels where THE BEATLES were staying, sat through repeated viewings of A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, watched (or were present) at their appearances on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW and then, later, in concert. What were some of YOUR favorite stories told by these first-hand fans?

GB: I have so many favorite stories told by the contributors, it's difficult to pick out just a few ... JoAnne's "Pope Story" stands out: She was on her way to her Catholic school in New York with her friends on the bus when the subject turned to the school's plans for a field trip to see the Pope during his visit. JoAnne declared, "I'd rather see the Beatles than see the Pope!" A woman overheard her and reported her to the school principal, who was not amused by the blasphemy. Joanne stood by her comment, despite the danger of being reprimanded, and having her parents called in! Other stories involve creative attempts by fans to get as close to the Beatles as possible in hotels, press conferences, etc. But I don't want to give too much away!

FH: No, we certainly don't want to do that ... we want people to go out and BUY a copy of this book so that they can experience the joy of reliving some of these memories themselves!!! And we've ALL got some!!!

KK: Reading JOANNE's "Pope Story" I couldn't help but wonder if perhaps SHE was the inspiration for JOHN LENNON's infamous "THE BEATLES ARE MORE POPULAR THAN JESUS CHRIST" comment years later!!! (lol) The plain and simple truth is, they WERE!!! The kids of 1964-1966 were turning to THE BEATLES, Pop Music and Pop Culture more than they were to the church ... and MOST would have blown off the opportunity to see THE POPE or attend a church service in favor of a live BEATLES concert ... (or even a BEATLES party!!!)
Early on it wasn't "cool" for the boys to like THE BEATLES ... but I clearly remember buying both I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND and SHE LOVES YOU on the same day and literally wearing out both sides of these records because I couldn't decide which song was my favorite. (By the way, we recently did an online poll asking music lovers to name their ALL-TIME FAVORITE, FORGOTTEN B-SIDE. In order to qualify, it had to be a record that DIDN'T chart in The National Top 40 on its own. When all was said and done, over 63,000 votes were cast ... and the hands-down winner was I'LL GET YOU, flipside of SHE LOVES YOU!!! You can find the complete list of THE TOP 200 FAVORITE, FORGOTTEN B-SIDES on The FORGOTTEN HITS Web Page at Shortly thereafter, I picked up their first U.S. L.P., MEET THE BEATLES, and played it till the wax came out of the grooves and stuck to my needle!!! I clearly remember walking home from school with a group of four girls (who were absolutely MAD for THE BEATLES) and calling out my requests along the way: "OK, now sing ALL I'VE GOTTA DO" and, as soon as that was done, "OK, how about ALL MY LOVIN'" to which the girls sang track for track EVERY song off the new LP, already knowing all the words by heart.

FH: You were able to line up a couple of VERY impressive guests to write the forward to your book ... SID BERNSTEIN, the U.S. Concert Promoter who booked THE BEATLES for their first U.S. concert appearances, including the then unimaginable performances at CARNEGIE HALL and, later, the legendary SHEA STADIUM Concert ... and MARK LAPIDOS, FOUNDER of BEATLEFEST (now known as THE FEST FOR BEATLE FANS) ... these are a couple of very high-profile, BEATLE-connected acquaintances and fans!!! How were you able to get copies of your book to these guys ... and did you have the opportunity to talk with them one-on-one?
GB: I attended my first Beatlefest in New York in 1978, at the old Statler Hilton. I was only a junior in high school, so I pleaded with my parents to drive me into the city so I could spend a few hours at the event (we lived in New Jersey, only 10 miles from NYC). I was overwhelmed. I told my Beatle friends all about it, and the following year, with the Fest being held at the Americana, we chipped in for a room so we wouldn't miss a minute of it. This past Fest marked my 30th consecutive year attending, so Fest producer Mark Lapidos and I had gotten to know each other a bit through the years. He was happy to work on his preface with me, and then recommended that I talk with his friend (and music business legend) Sid Bernstein, whom I spoke with, and then shaped our talk into his own piece to lead off the book.

FH: SID BERNSTEIN reveals (in his segment) the truth behind an often-repeated story, presented as evidence that BEATLEMANIA was waning by the time THE BEATLES returned to SHEA STADIUM in 1966, amidst public record-burnings due to JOHN LENNON's comment about THE BEATLES being more popular than JESUS CHRIST. Much has been made about the fact that THE BEATLES did not sell out SHEA STADIUM that night ... and that as many as 11,000 seats may have been empty. Would you like to relate the truth behind THAT story for our readers?
GB: Sid told me how he made a deal with a Singer sewing machine store in Rockefeller Center to sell tickets there for the Beatles' Shea concert in 1966. Sid and his babysitters counted off thousands of tickets into shoe boxes to bring to the store. Sometime after the concert took place he discovered several undelivered boxes of tickets in his apartment -- which explains why some sections of Shea stadium had empty seats for the concert!

FH: Did you KNOW this prior to your conversation with SID BERNSTEIN? That's a pretty amazing and revealing fact to come out all these years later ... and I, for one, had never heard that story before!!!
GB: As for Sid Bernstein's story about the "missing" tickets, after he related it to me, he added that he doesn't think he had ever told anyone about that before. I don't have the book that he wrote a few years back, so I can't say if he included the story there, but it's obviously not a well-known anecdote.

FH: And, obviously, one more fascinating and revealing anecdote you'll find in GARRY's new book, WE'RE GOING TO SEE THE BEATLES!

KK: I remember wanting to see A HARD DAY'S NIGHT when it first came out in theaters ... and my parents refusing to take me because they had read about the sheer pandemonium that was going on inside the movie theaters. As such, I had to see it for the very first time at the DRIVE-IN!!!!! I'll never forget the experience of listening to all this great, new BEATLES music through this tiny, tinny little speaker propped up in my Dad's window!!! NOT the proper way to view and appreciate this film!!!
One more quick personal story and observation ... I have to admit that BEATLEMANIA quickly bit The KOTAL Boys, too ... all three of us ended up picking up musical instruments ... guitars, bass, piano, drums ... and playing in various bands over the years. Early on, we'd mime to the records strumming imaginary guitars and shaking our heads so vigorously that we'd have to lie down with headaches afterwards!!! ... eventually graduating to strumming rakes and shovels, then cheapie plastic or inflatable guitars, followed by almost as cheap SEARS and Japanese models, before finally graduating to the real thing. Early on, we thought GEORGE HARRISON looked JUST like BUD BEHER, one of my Dad's coworkers (which will mean absolutely NOTHING to anyone other than my brothers who may be reading this!!! lol), with longer hair, and, in 1965, in one of the most TRAUMATIC days of my youth, I was actually invited to see THE BEATLES perform LIVE at COMISKEY PARK!!! We were visiting my cousins in Deerfield, Illinois, some 35 miles from where we lived at the time, and they announced that they had ONE extra tickets to see THE BEATLES perform the next day. They invited me to stay over night at their house and then take me to the concert ... all my Dad had to do was drive back and pick me up the following day. I remember smiling from ear to ear and literally jumping up and down at the prospect of seeing THE BEATLES perform live ... but my Dad put the kabosh on that, saying that it was just too far to drive back round-trip the next day. As far as I know, the extra ticket was never even used!!! (Talk about emotional scars ... that day ranks right up there with the time he burned my comic book collection!!!)

FH: I'm sure that you heard LOTS of stories like mine during the course of putting together your book ... how did you react to some of these ... were you at all surprised by the PASSION that still exists in some of these fans as they recounted these early days? Certainly the chance to speak with you and tell these stories again ... knowing that fellow BEATLES Fans all over the world would soon be reading them ... must have sparked and ignited this passion all over again with many of your interviewees ... EVERYBODY likes to "go back" to a happier, more innocent (and less responsible) time!!!
GB: I was somewhat surprised, but pleasantly so, by the strong passion that most of the book contributors still feel when recounting their years as teenage Beatles fans. As I've said, with some of them the Beatles have been a constant presence and source of great happiness in their lives ever since the initial "invasion." Others may have "outgrown" their Beatles fanaticism in the intervening years, but their memories are still vivid, and I could definitely hear that original excitement in their voices as they told me what it was like to experience Beatlemania firsthand. As for those contributors who were forbidden to attend a Beatles concert or film event for whatever reasons (frightened or disapproving parents, in most cases), I'd venture to say there is a bit of residual resentment, but as those contributors say, there was really no way to know at that time, what the special significance of seeing the Beatles in concert would become. I hope they've since come to terms with it!

KK: I think my own feelings may have actually been somewhat amplified over the years of realizing what a truly important event I missed that weekend. Nothing we can do about it, of course ... but, in my case anyway, it truly WAS a "Once In A Lifetime" opportunity. Over the years, I was fortunate enough to see PAUL, GEORGE and RINGO perform live in concert ... JOHN simply never came out this way (and didn't do many live shows.) But it's not quite the same of seeing all four BEATLES at the absolute HEIGHT of BEATLEMANIA.

FH: In my earlier assessment of your book, I called it "the perfect companion piece to BRUCE SPIZER's THE BEATLES ARE COMING!" Any thoughts on this? BRUCE has become recognized as one of the elite, most complete historians when it comes to THE BEATLES and their record releases ... did you have the chance to talk with him when you were working on your book? Was his book a valuable point of reference for you, regarding documenting dates and appearances ... and some of the memorabilia that went along with these early tours? (BRUCE has been a member of The FORGOTTEN HITS List for quite some time now and, in fact, he paid thanks to us in his book, THE BEATLES ARE COMING!, for our series spotlighting WHO PLAYED THE FIRST BEATLES RECORD IN AMERICA, which is ALSO available on The FORGOTTEN HITS Website:
GB: Bruce Spizer's "The Beatles Are Coming!" is on my Beatles bookshelf, and it did prove extremely valuable while I was preparing my book (as I noted in the bibliography). I spoke with him and exchanged e-mails on occasion, when I needed a fine historical point either confirmed or elaborated upon. And, of course, we're both regulars at Beatlefest.

KK: The reason I consider these two books to be perfect companion pieces is this ... BRUCE SPIZER's book documents the entire first visit of THE BEATLES to America ... but more from a strictly HISTORICAL point of view. There are all kinds of facts and figures down to some of the most minute details. Quite honestly, it's my FAVORITE of his in a long series of BEATLES reference manuals because it DOES take more of a "You Are There" approach to things. GARRY BERMAN's book, on the other hand, features the first-hand accounts of some of the kids who actually WERE there ... and BERMAN does an EXCELLENT job of getting these people to relive their experiences ... one cannot help but feel all of the excitement and emotion that was tied to this VERY important and significant part of their lives.

FH: As a latter-day fan, have you accumulated a pretty substantial BEATLES memorabilia collection of your own? Do you go to the BEATLEFESTS and Collectors' Record Shows? Is there some particular piece that YOU'VE been looking for that you haven't yet been able to get your hands on?
GB: As a Beatles memorabilia collector, I must say that I'm a sort of middle-of-the-road. I've never had the budget to go for the more highly valued items, but I do have a trunk full of magazines, picture sleeve 45s, books, buttons, photos, posters, etc., and perhaps a few hard-to-find items as well.

FH: Have you heard anything about this recently discovered pristine box of BEATLES Butcher Cover albums ... I want to say it was a complete box of 25 or 50 LPs that was set aside by the LIVINGSTON family back in 1966 ... suddenly there are absolutely MINT, sealed copies of this rare album available on the auction block!!!
GB: I've heard many stories about sealed, original first-pressing Butcher covers that, when sold, would have easily put the seller's children through college with change to spare. In 1990, I produced and hosted a half-hour show about Beatlefest for local cable TV, and I interviewed a vender from L.A. who specialized in Butcher covers, and who had a lot of stories about boxes of them that had been put away at the time and of their astronomical value now!

FH: Will you be appearing at any of THE FESTS FOR BEATLE FANS this year in an effort to promote your book? This will be a GREAT opportunity to mingle with some of the elite / elite who've been covering THE FAB FOUR now four years ... and a chance to meet even MORE fans who may have first hand accounts of having seen THE BEATLES during that first go-round ... which, I guess, leads to the next obvious question: any plans for a sequel? (Certainly once word gets out about what you've already done, I can see a number of fans wanting to contact you to tell their stories ... how might some of these first-handers get in touch with you? And is there a website of choice that you've set up to order copies of the book? Are you, by chance, offering autographed copies?
GB: As I mentioned, I attended the New York area Fest in late March, and had the chance to meet many of my book's contributors, as well as other authors. I've been asked to consider attending the Chicago Fest this summer, but whether or not I will be able remains to be seen. Martin Lewis, who moderated an authors' discussion at the March Fest, suggested to me that I consider assembling a similar book of memories, but gathering stories from Beatles fans who were behind the Iron Curtain during the '60s. On stage, he jokingly commissioned me to do it. I've been pondering the idea, but we'll see. As for how one might go about picking up a copy of my book, I have a "We're Going See The Beatles" page on my website, with a link to for ordering the book, but at the moment, my site is not quite as up-to-date as I'd like it to be. Readers who are interested in ordering the book can do so just as easily by going to,, or

FH: Well, if you DO end up coming to the Chicagoland BEATLEFEST this year, be sure to let us know so that we can stop by and say hello!
Finally, there is one other point that I would like to address before we say goodbye. Much has been made over the years about how BADLY America NEEDED something like THE BEATLES to come along at the time that they did. We had just suffered through the KENNEDY assassination ... music was starting to get stale again (recent #1 Records included THERE! I'VE SAID IT AGAIN by BOBBY VINTON and, incredibly, DOMINIQUE by THE SINGING NUN!!!) ... the argument has been made that this (coupled with CAPITOL RECORDS' million dollar advertising campaign) made for the PERFECT opportunity for THE BEATLES to take off and have the impact that they did. While all of these circumstances may, in fact, be true, this theory GREATLY diminishes and discounts the TREMENDOUS impact that THE BEATLES CONTINUED to have ... and the fact that their music has stood the test of time ... and will continue to be a VITAL part of our culture long after all of us are gone. Keep in mind, they were already playing to screaming, sell-out crowds all over Europe before they ever came to America ... and even some of the girls interviewed in your book best described their screaming as almost a chain reaction, "out of body" experience ... they literally could not stop themselves. Now that you've had a chance to hear so many of these "first hand" stories about how THE BEATLES affected their lives ... and, with the benefit of 40+ years of hindsight ... why do YOU think THE BEATLES made the initial impact that they did?

GB: Your question about why I think the Beatles made the impact they did at that specific point in time is a good one! First of all, it is not a unanimous opinion that the Kennedy assassination had a direct correlation to the outburst of Beatlemania in early '64. I think that line of thinking has become a tired cliche through the years. It's true that the Beatles were already enormously popular in Britain and Europe. So, I think the events as they happened would have happened even if Kennedy had not been assassinated. There is no real reason to assume otherwise. American music was in a bit of a creative rut, teenagers were hoping to hear something new and exciting -- and even those not actively searching were positively jolted by hearing the first few Beatles singles -- and the sheer talent and charisma of the Beatles themselves made their success pretty much inevitable (easy to say with hindsight, I realize). The ironic thing to me is that the frenzy of Beatlemania took place BEFORE the Beatles created their best music! But as book contributor Debbie Levitt pointed out, they needed to do "She Loves You" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" before they could do their later, more sophisticated songs. It was a stunning progression over a relatively short period of time.

FH: GARRY, thanks so much for joining us here today ... I really appreciate it and I have to tell you one last time that I really enjoyed the book. I believe that anybody who was there at the time will find it fascinating reading ... and anyone else who was maybe too young ... or not even born at the time ... who finds it hard to believe that BEATLEMANIA was as crazy as it's been made out to be ... would do well to pick up a copy of WE'RE GOING TO SEE THE BEATLES! ... and watch some of this old video that we've talked about to see JUST how crazy things really were.
GB: Kent ... Thanks for a great set of questions and for giving me a chance to talk with your Forgotten Hits Readers about my new book.

Wanna have GARRY BERMAN on YOUR program to talk about his new book,
WE'RE GOING TO SEE THE BEATLES! ??? Drop us a line and we'll be glad to help you set something up. Be sure to check back to The FORGOTTEN HITS Blog Page tomorrow for MORE on GARRY BERMAN!!!